A new bridge linking Hatteras Island to the northern Outer Banks soon will be a step closer to reality if everything works out for the state Department of Transportation.
On Tuesday, DOT will open bids to design and build a new bridge to replace the almost 50-year-old Bonner Bridge, which spans the Oregon Inlet. DOT officials have said they expect the bridge to cost about $300 million.
The Bonner Bridge was supposed to last about 30 years when it was built in 1963. Its replacement has been the subject of a decades-long legal fight. Even as DOT moves forward with the bid opening, environmental groups have sued to stop construction. Those groups support a longer bridge that would bypass a wildlife refuge but would cost about $1 billion.